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Summer Brewing Update

Sunday, June 17th, 2012

The first day of summer is right around the corner.  It is time for summer beers to be brewed and enjoyed. Usually this means choosing delicate aromatic hops, fruity yeasts, and shooting for a drier finish. Liquid refreshment here we come!

summer home brew

We played around with five different batches, each overlapping the other in some respect. Two of the batches use Kölsch yeast and two use American Hefe yeast. Two of the batches have noble hops (Hallertau and Tettnanger), while two use Citra and Crystal hops. The grain bills are pretty similar, consisting of Pilsner as the base malt, and a little Vienna and Munich. It will be interesting to see how the Kölsch yeast and the Citra hops combine vs the traditional noble hops.  Citra hops give an amazing mango like quality that should make for a refreshing crowd pleaser.

In my own humble opinion, the Spring Kölsch will be hard to beat. Being the traditional combination of all German ingredients, this might be expected. The Kölsch yeast provides notes of honey, vanilla, even a little smokiness, in just the right proportions. One downside of the Kölsch is it takes longer than other yeasts to clean itself up. Until about 45 days after the brew, there was a rubbery plastic taste. I thought it was from the Better Bottle, or a yeast health issue.  Turns out it was just green beer.

There is also a batch made with 100% Amarillo hops to show off the grapefruit aroma and flavor profile it provides. This batch was done in collaboration with Brian from the Brew Mentor in Ohio. When the results are in on that batch we’ll be doing a blog post to explain the new twist on brewing Brian came up with.

Summer Beer Recipes:

summer home brew carboy

One summer evening we will do a blind tasting to evaluate the results. We always add in a cheap macro brew just to make it entertaining. I wonder what we will mix in this time, maybe a little PBR? Our tasting sheet is simple enough that even novice beer drinkers can have fun too.

Blow off Tube Needed:

Here’s what happens when you don’t leave enough head space in your primary fermentor:

home brew no blow off tube mess

The yeast shoots everywhere!  Bit of a sticky mess, but all it takes is replacing the air lock.  A blow off tube is the best solution.

Other News:

  • Site updates have been ongoing.
  • The mash calculator and water chemistry calculators are now built into the brew session.
  • Grain lists have been updated on all calculators.
  • The site renders correctly at any width and works smoothly on smart phones and tablets.
  • We just did a Brew In A Bag (BIAB) style batch. That was awesome, learned a lot. Complete details on that next time.
  • A yeast pitching calculator is on the way!
  1. 3 Responses to “Summer Brewing Update”

  2. I just sampled my summer blonde ale. It’s also a very nice summer beer, light and not too hoppy. Good luck with the Kolsch – mine came out wonderful!

    By Stephen Stanley on Jun 18, 2012

  3. Hi guys, can we get a tutorial of sorts on the in-recipe mash calculator? It seems it requires predetermined values to be entered, and doesn’t really calculate much, (unless I’m missing something?) thank you for your consideration. – B916

    By bishop916 on Jun 20, 2012

  4. The Mash section of the recipe editor is completely free form. And yes, it does not factor into any calculations. It is meant as a guideline for the next brewer. If you use the ‘Brew’ feature for a recipe, it will match up your equipment with the recipe, and then tell you how much water you need.

    Creating a help section is on the todo list. You can always contact us using the link at the bottom of the site with specific questions about a recipe.

    PS – Just finished a late night deploy! It is getting hard to find a time when nobody is using the system.

    By Larry on Jun 21, 2012

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